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Supreme Court upholds Hijab ban, issues notice to Karnataka govt; next hearing on Sept 5

The Supreme Court  on Monday issued a notice to Karnataka government on pleas challenging High Court verdict refusing to lift ban on hijab in educational institutions of the state. The apex court, however, upheld the ban and fixed the next date for hearing on September 5.

A top court bench comprising justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia said that it will not accept a plea seeking adjournment as an early hearing was sought, while issuing notice to the Karnataka government. The also pulled up some of the petitioners, who sought adjournment in the matter, and said it would not permit “this kind of forum shopping”.

Several petitions have been filed in the apex court against the Karnataka High Court verdict holding that wearing of hijab is not a part of the essential religious practice which can be protected under Article 25 of the Constitution.

The Karnataka HC had dismissed the petitions filed by a section of Muslim students from the government Pre-University Girls College in Udupi, seeking permission to wear hijab inside classroom.

The appeals were filed in the apex court challenging the order upholding the Karnataka government`s order which had directed strict enforcement of schools and colleges` uniform rules. One of the appeals in the top court alleged “step-motherly behaviour of government authorities which prevented students from practising their faith and resulted in an unwanted law and order situation”.

Earlier in March, the Karnataka HC had held that the prescription of uniforms is a reasonable restriction that students could not object to, dismissing various petitions that challenged the ban on Hijab in education institutions. It had also made an observation that the petitions are without merit.

Anamika Singh
Anamika Singh

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